Saturday, February 04, 2006

Of Sheep Dogs and Skating Rinks

Well, to start off, I've got to announce that I've just read the Sunday "Letters to the Editor" in the local paper. Most of them, if not all, had to do with Tuesday's vote to decide if we want to have a recreation district which is gonna cost just one pizza, three lattes or 20 boxes of Western Family Macaroni and Cheese per month---depending on your tastes, the weekly specials or where you buy your products.

There's a big difference, ya know, between frozen Tostinos Pizzas and the Carolyn Special at Second Avenue. I am getting worried about the local economy because the "pizza sacrifice card" has already been used in reference to raising $13 million to build a new church. If we start giving up all those pizzas, some people are gonna go out of business, and they won't be able to afford to pay their taxes for the skating rink.

And, if Yoke's is running a special on macaroni and cheese, where you can get five boxes for a dollar, I can enjoy a lot of pasta and gain a lot of pounds if I don't have to pay for a skating rink. Now, for those lattes, I make my own here at home with cocoa and that Coffee-Mate latte mix, so I don't have to give up too much if I want to go skating.

And, this morning I learned that the self-centered reprobates opposing the skating rink all have wrinkles and snivel a lot. That observation came from some ol' gal who claims she lives on a fixed income of $471 a month. She also claims she'll be glad to give up part of her income to help build the $12 million rink. The rink, by the way, is currently scheduled to be constructed near the sawdust pile at Kootenai---not the junction of Colburn-Culver and HWY 200 as incorrectly stated in one letter.

I think this woman should be nominated for one of those Women of Wisdom awards because of her charitable attitude toward the children and her perceptive disdain toward all the losers who live here and think the skating rink idea needs a little more thought before we all vote to write the never-ending check to pay for its construction, its staff and its maintenance. I definitely was moved by her letter, so much, in fact, that I feel more inclined than ever to vote "no" on Tuesday.

One lady from Cocolalla wrote and suggested that kids could be taught to find some of their own entertainment in what's left of the natural world that still abounds here. Speaking of entertainment and deciding how to vote, as of yesterday, I have calculated that I'd have to give up only half a lesson of sheep-dog training per month if I chose to go on the indoor hiking path around the skating rink as opposed to watching Kiwi learn how to herd real live sheep.

She left the Folgers coffee cans behind yesterday entered a whole new world at the Curless place near Dover where resident Border Collies of all sizes, colors and ages (some just two-weeks old) welcomed her with open paws. I paid Randy twenty dollars. In return, Willie and I enjoyed fresh-baked cookies made from Harold's Super Foods dough, which Gail had bought up when the store went out of business. We drank coffee and gossiped a lot with Randy, Gail, Erica and Matt.

And, while we gossiped, Kiwi and Erica's dog Dakota happily danced around the floor like Sugar Ray Leonard, batting paws and locking lips in a happy doggie boxing match. In the midst of it all, Randy, Kiwi and I took a break and headed outside where Moose and Mame showed Kiwi the ropes with a herd of Curless sheep. Kiwi was a bit afraid at first; after all when your sheep at home are red and plastic and don't go "Ba--a--a---a," this was a big change.

Eventually, her fear turned to scholarly attentiveness as the older dogs, under Randy's seasoned tutelage and quiet commands, both demonstrated some herding basics in a large field at the base of Baldy Mountain. Kiwi watched, in earnest, their every move, and a few minutes later, when Randy took her by the leash back to the flock, she eventually quit crouching between his legs, unleashed her inner fears and put her inherent instincts to work.

When her short first-ever lesson had ended, Kiwi wanted more. She now knew real live sheep and now wanted to get really serious about putting them in their place. But, that was all for yesterday's lesson, and today after reading the paper, I have to decide how I'm going to vote on Tuesday. Do I want to give up half a lesson of sheepherding a month in favor of ice-skating in Kootenai?

I vote "Ba-a-a-a-a," which, in humanspeak, translates into a flat-out NO.


Anonymous said...

I hate to sound skeptical but I really doubt that anyone could live on $471.00 a month without subsidies from somewhere and those generally come through tax-supported sources.

poody said...

I say vote yes. And unfortunately kids have been finding their own entertainment in nature. It's called making out, smoking pot, and drag racing. They aren't very original ya know. Congrats to Kiwi sounds like she really enjoyed herself.